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Congratulations! You have submitted your thesis and you are now ready for the last step of your PhD program, the thesis defense. The Thesis defense consists of a 60 minutes public oral presentation. After the public presentation, the audience is dismissed and the dissertation committee will further question the candidate. The success of your defense is then determined by majority vote of the dissertation committee.

Please make sure to complete the following checklist in order to obtain your PhD degree, otherwise you will need to reapply.

Before your defense

  • File: Dissertation committee Form (link)
  • File: Application for Candidacy (link)
  • File: Application for Degree in the semester in which you will defend (if filed after the graduate school deadline a fee will be due. Check the Grad School calendar to be sure you make the deadline for the semester you intend to graduate
  • Complete and submit the M&I Graduate program Defense Notification Form no less than two weeks before your dissertation defense date. This allows the Program to confirm that you completed all requirements prior to your defense. This form, along with your defense flyer and program should be submitted to the Program Administrator, Kim Springer no less than two weeks before your defense date.

At your defense

bring the following forms:

  • Report of Completion of Requirements for Degree to be signed by ALL dissertation committee members and the M&I Graduate Program Director
  • A copy of the Approval Sheet – this is the face page of the PhD dissertation that each student prepares. The Approval Sheet is to be signed by the advisor and all members of the dissertation committee.
  • A stack of programs to make available to your audience the day of your defense.

After your defense

Please see the Graduate School’s Degree Completion page for instructions and a checklist of documents you will need to submit with your dissertation to graduate school.

For more information on the Graduation procedure please see the M&I Handbook or the Graduate School website.